Boeing says it has developed and installed the first affordable system for storing surplus energy from renewable sources.
Storing large amounts of electrical power for later use has always been a problem, because existing batteries are unsuitable for large-capacity storage.
Upon demand, hydrogen is passed through system's "fuel cells" where its energy is converted into electricity. (Credit: Paul R. Pinner)
Boeing says its new compact system uses surplus electricity to extract, compress and store hydrogen, one of the most energy-potent elements.
Upon demand, hydrogen is passed through the so-called "fuel cells" where its energy is converted into electricity, with clean water as the only byproduct.
The whole unit can fit in a standard 20-foot shipping container, store up to 600 kilowatt hours of energy and generate 50 kilowatts at a time.
One unit is now installed in a U.S. naval facility in Port Hueneme, California, for further testing and evaluation.
The new fuel cell-based energy storage, developed in cooperation with German firm Sunfire, is suitable for military and commercial applications.